China urges Sweden to 'respect Muslim beliefs' despite its genocide against Uyghurs
China has criticised Sweden over a recent incident in which a far-right politician reportedly burned the Quran, with Beijing urging the Scandinavian state to 'respect' Muslim beliefs.
The Chinese foreign ministry's comments came in response to Danish-Swedish far-right leader Rasmus Paludan's plans to organise several Quran-burning rallies in Sweden during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.
The US, France, and other countries recognise China's repression - which includes mass detention, forced abortions, and torture - as a genocide of Uyghurs.
"Freedom of speech cannot be a reason to incite racial or cultural discrimination and tear society apart," said Wang Wenbin, a spokesperson for China’s foreign ministry as reported by Beijing-linked Global Times.
“We hope Sweden can earnestly respect the religious beliefs of minority groups including Muslims," he added.
"Freedom of speech cannot be a reason to incite racial or cultural discrimination & tear society apart. We hope #Sweden can earnestly respect the religious beliefs of minority groups including Muslims," Chinese FM said on Sweden riots over the burning of #Koran pic.twitter.com/E3jRG57wQS— Global Times (@globaltimesnews) April 20, 2022
The Quran is Islam’s sacred text and is believed by Muslims to be the literal transcription of the word of God.
China’s statement comes despite its ongoing repression of Uyghur Muslims in the western part of the country, where it is accused of incarcerating over a million Uyghurs in what has been called an attempt to wipe out their religion and culture.
China claims the prisoners are being provided with education, however rights groups have accused the government of committing horrific abuses against the detainees, including torture, rape, and forced sterilisation.
Several leading human rights groups have also formally accused Beijing of committing genocide against the Uyghurs.
Paludan's actions sparked violent protests in Sweden and have been condemned by governments and rights groups around the world.